USA kicked off a 12-day training session in Sao Paulo as part of their "dry run" for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™.

Under tight security, coach Jurgen Klinsmann held an initial practice with his 26 players at Sao Paulo FC's training facility, rated as one of the best in Brazil.

The former star from Germany said his squad includes many young players "who have a point to prove, that they can all go to the World Cup".

Klinsmann said he came to Sao Paulo on a scouting tour two years ago and decided that Brazil's economic capital was the best place in terms of hotels and training facilities to set up the USA base camp for the two-week tournament that will open here on 12 June.

After conducting daily workouts and two private scrimmages over the next 12 days, the USA team plan to play a friendly against Korea Republic in Carson, California on 1 February.

Klinsmann acknowledged that his team faces a tough group against Germany, Portugal and Ghana and must beat Ghana in the opening game in the northeastern city of Natal on 16 June.

"We badly need three points against Ghana and one point against Portugal," he said.

Travel to northeastern World Cup venues such as Natal, Recife and Manaus will be a major challenge although American players are used to travelling long distances at home, he added.

As to who will win the World Cup final in Rio's iconic Maracana stadium on 13 July, Klinsmann said: "Brazil, Spain and Germany have these expectations...We don't."

But he stressed that the USA squad aim to be "in the top ten, 15 in the world" in the future.

"We are not there yet, but we are working on it...It's not going to happen overnight," he told reporters.